You know, Caustic Resin’s Fly Me To The Moon is really an underrated album. I mean, Caustic Resin is an underrated band anyway, but Moon would really be a killer album if they had simply left off certain songs. As it was released, the album is simply too long, and there are a few songs on it that are just kind of dull and blunt the overall impact.
I made an iTunes playlist that consists of Fly Me To The Moon’s running sequence with a few songs simply removed, to prove the concept. The first song to get the axe is track #6, “Healing Cough.” The feedback, Leslie speaker, and slide guitar, while cool, seem to be the only reason for this meandering two-chord jam to exist. Place those cool elements in an actual song and you might have something – actually most of them appear in other parts of the album anyway – but here they seem to be used to try to cover for the fact that they don’t really have a song here. It doesn’t even have a proper ending, just sort of falls apart after a while. Not worth wasting four and a half minutes on.
The following track, “The End of Betrayal,” might be argued to be scarcely more of a song than “Healing Cough,” but it’s mercifully short and has a hell of a guitar solo, so it stays.
Track 10, “I Feel,” is the next to go. Yeah it’s got cool slide guitar too, and a couple cool bass guitar fills, but not much else. The melody has potential but it’s another one of those spots on the album where it feels like they’re just not really trying, and it runs over five and a half minutes besides.
I feel the need to make a clarification here, because even the All Music Guide gets this wrong. To the mindful listener, it is apparent that “White Box” and “Alien Fugue (Slight Return)” are transposed in the track listing given on the CD cover. “Alien Fugue (Slight Return)” is listed as track 15, but compare the melody and lyrics of track 14, the one with the out-of-control analog synths, to that of track 4, “Alien Fugue.” The synthy number is definitely intended as a reprise of the earlier track. It’s a bit of a throwaway perhaps, but I love the unruly synthesizers, so I say keep it.
Track 15, “White Box,” is pretty much worthless. It’s no better than a practice performance, seemingly the first time the band had ever played the song. I mean you can actually hear Brett Netson calling out the chord changes to the band (“gonna hit a G here pretty soon… okay… right here”) as they sort of half-assedly tool along with him. Why include on an album a recording of a song made when the band didn’t even actually know the song yet? Sure it’s the shortest track on the album, but it’s half-assed not-really-into-it quality really kills the flow. I do wonder though, whether the fact that you can hear the chord changes being called out to the band has to do with its title. Think “white-box testing.”
Examining this trimmed track listing, we see it’s down to a still longish but respectable 61 minutes. And there’s a nice progression to it that doesn’t let up. Still, it seems as if there might be room to improve the album’s overall flow by reordering tracks. For instance, three of what would have to be considered Caustic Resin’s most catchy and anthemic numbers – “Damaged Animal” (which could stand to be considerably shorter, but there’s not much we can do about that now), “Summertime Of Your Life,” and “A Fistful Of Violence” – are now all clustered right in a row. Would we be better off to disperse them a bit more among the spacier tracks?
If by a long shot there are any Caustic Resin fans reading this, I’m, interested in comments and suggestions you may have. Would you trim out more or different tracks, or perhaps reorder them?